LERN Debate 2012- proximate and ultimate explanations of behaviour

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“This house believes that the distinction between proximate and ultimate causes hinders a complete understanding of evolutionary processes.”

The topic will consider Ernst Mayr’s distinction between proximate and ultimate explanations of behaviour, which has been hugely influential in evolutionary theory. Are recent criticisms of this dichotomy invalid or does the direction of future research lie in theory that incorporates interactions between proximate and ultimate explanations?

Dr John Odling-Smee (University of Oxford)
Dr Tobias Uller (University of Oxford)

Professor Tom Dickins (Middlesex University)
Dr Thom Scott-Phillips (University of Durham)

This is the fourth debate hosted by LERN. Each speaker will get 15 minutes to present their ideas followed by 5 minutes rebuttal time. There will be a 30 minute open Q&A period at the end of the talks. The debate will be followed by a wine reception at 8pm. The event is free for all to attend.

Date and Time: Wednesday 5th December 2012 from 5.30pm

Location: Pearson G22 Lecture Theatre, UCL, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT